Any nurses out there?

Our hospital is very old and so the heating is always blazing away. I also seemed to spend the day dripping, especially if I was helping a patient in the bathroom. My lovely colleagues thought it was very funny! Although they were also very helpful offering me help and advise.

I completely understand the dripping bit! I’m a specialist nurse in the community and will be sitting in a patients home when, all of a sudden, my face will light up like a belisha beacon and I come over all unnecessary. I tell the patients that Im “having a moment.” As most of my patients are elderly, they tend to understand!

Julia xx

This is my first post, I am not sure if to say I am a RGN for the past 16yrs with NHS trust -or to say I am a newly retired RGN infact termination of contract Sept 2010!
I have a complicated medical history which has all been both physical and mentally draing. I am 50% disabled from Industrial injuries to my back and left wrist and thumb. I was dignosed with my breast cancer Feb 2009 my first mastectomy March 2009 I returned to my work base on non clinical duties due to Oc H and H&S advise as I have to wear a wrist splint- this was far from a easy stress free role infact I did have counselling to attempt to help me come to terms with the massive changes to my work situation but also my family roles (I have been happily married for 35yrs) I lost my mum and two of her sisters 11yrs ago all to cancer in multiple organs but all with breast involvement. I chose to have my left mastectomy Dec 2009 and have had problems since I had a post surgical infection that has left me with lymph swelling on my breast wall and upper arm. I also had a thrombosed vein post surgery all this as increased the damage to my wrist and hand but also now left shoulder.
I will leave all the heartache for now- it really is a dark place I find myself just now I was supported by OcH and HR for a level 2 ill health pension or so I was led to believe and after 6weeks my letter from the NHS pensions dept arrived this morning -I do not meet their requirements for any early pension release oops I didn’t say that I am now 54yrs old and could have taken my pension at 55 if my employers could have attemted to find me a suitable role. My full termoil of treatments etc. only came to 12months sick leave this included me having treatments from 3 diffrent consultants at 2 hospital sites. Since my diagnosis of breast cancer my Arthritis is now in all my joints and I can walk short distances only with 1or2 sticks wheelchair if needed. I have SS support for my personal care in the mornings my husband and family have helped me all through this, I have now been told I have fybromyalgia too.
PLease if any NHS staff can relate to this I would appreciate your feedback- it just might stop me from the despare I am in just now.
Sorry it is so long Anne.

I wasn’t a nurse but worked in HR in the NHS until I retired this year. Even with really strong Occ Health and HR support, the pensions agency sometimes do turn down requests for ill health retirement. But don’t give up, you can appeal and I used to find that many appeals succeeded. The best thing is to contact HR and Occ Health again for their support with an appeal.

Unfortunately I didn’t take my own advice and didn’t even bother to apply at all for ill health retirement so my pension is reduced, but even so, I don’t regret retiring early at all.

Good luck

Not a nurse, a doctor…but recognise a lot of what people are talking about. I think the NHS needs to lose a few big disability discrimination cases to get its head round the notion that disabled staff are an asset, not a liability. I had a dreadful time going back to work, which included all my colleagues pretending they didn’t know i’d had bc (they jolly well did, cos i told them…) and drumming up a malicious complaint against me. I’ve been told I’d be a liability, that nobody would employ me if I couldn’t carry a full workload, etc etc…and anyway cancer isn’t covered by the DDA in our neck of the woods!..(that from Occ Health so no help there…)
However: I’m alive and cancer-free, my treating team were lovely, my depression is much better and my partner has been wonderful throughout…there were times when I just wanted to die I was in so much physical and emotional pain, but I’m damn well not going to die so hold on folks, there is hope!
Any other docs or colleagues from other disciplines welcome to PM me, we need to support each other through all this cr*p…

Hi Ladies Just an update. Am so so cheesed off. Just as I was starting to feel a bit better and could feel some energy seeping back.All my attempts at trying to establish whether my continuous NHS service has been ascertained ( currently have worked for just under 5 yrs in current area so counts as 4 yrs, but had cotinuous service in previous area from 1986 and no gap between the 2 areas) have met with none of the promised return phone calls. Then last week found I had been put on to 1/2 pay.Still cannot get HR to respond.Unfortunately I had more surgery the week rads ended and have been on a-bs since June as got an abscess separate from BC but poss chemo induced and may need further surgery.Had thought I might be back at work by now but not so. Have been off sick since late June worked through chemo and had A/L for WLE and ANC. Have now been advised to take out a grievance against HR by my union but I really find this is undermining my health and that I should not need to go to these lengths.Do any of you wise ladies have any comments/ advise? Jackie

I started this thread a while ago and think that it is very sad v

I started this thread a while ago and think that it is very sad that so many of us are treated in such an uncaring manner.
Ctakin19 - I am absolutely appalled at what has happened to you and what a terrible breach of confidentiality.
Similar happend at my work - I was working as a Nurse practitioner and found out within days of my diagnosis (having wanted to keep it all low key) that staff at the 2 satellite hospitals 12 miles away had been told!
Jackie, i cannot believe you have been treated so appallingly. You are right, why should you be put through even more stress taking on HR when they should have done their job properly in the first place? it really beggars belief. The caring profession.
I have now been diagnosed with osteoporosis(another error by my GP who refused to monitor my bone density whilst on AI and prem menopause ) and fibromyalgia too,to go with my trunkal lymphodema which is now spreading to my arm since desk bound. I am really not sure how bad things have to be before they support an application for ill health retirement but clearly I am not there yet, as some of you are experiencing also.
Good luck to one and all, especially with the current reorganisation of the NHS…

libby have you had a look at the AFC handbook…

“12.1 An employee’s continuous previous service with any NHS employer counts as reckonable service in respect of NHS agreements on redundancy, maternity, sick pay and annual leave.”

its not up to your employer to decide whether you qualify or not… if you work in the NHS they have to do it… if you dont want to take the grievance out if you speak to HR and tell them you have been advised by your union to do so that alone may be enough for them to pull their finger out.

Lulu xxx

hi I have worked in the NHS for 32 years, laterly as a consultant Nurse, I have been saddened and appalled by the way some of you have been treated.

my understanding under Agenda for Change there is a descretion that employers can use to extend your full pay entitlement whilst on sick pay for a further 3 months. which may be helpful to some of you.

I really hope that you all get the necessary support that everyone needs during this difficult and challenging time.

all the best
Rugby girl xx

Hi Libby,
Ruby and Rugby girl are absolutely right re; AFC. I have also read somewhere that , at theire discretion, sick pay can be paid for another 3 months, on top of the 6 months full, 6 months half pay.
unfortunately this is not well publised and I believe can be put forward by your manager.

good luck with all of this.

post deleted

Ladies thanks so much for your comments. Catkin and happy shopper it is appalling that confidentiality was breached.They really have no idea do they? Lulu I agree it is not up to my employer to determine whether I qualify or not.My previous record had not been sent on to my current employer from my previous one and even back in May I signed a form to give my permission that this could be accessed. It hasn’t. Yesterday morning I ended up beside my self with HR saying I had to speak to payroll and the latter saying I had to speak to HR.I went round in circles. I spoke to my manager whose intervention had no effect and more phone calls from me to both incompetent depts again.All this served to do was cause further stress and still none of the returned calls I had been promised.
It is difficult in this reorganisation of NHS to know how far I can rock the boat without this rebounding badly on me.As I am part of a v.small team I think my manager would not support extra time off on full pay if that ever materialises.Part of me feels that I need to get back asap and part feels I should go with what my Onc told me ‘We will discuss this at my next appt in Jan’ OK rant over Ladies whatever you are up to hope you are all as OK as poss. Thank you again for your support. Love Jackie

Hi Everyone
I’m a nurse too, but have been working in Switzerland for over 30 years. Luckily I have no pressure to go back to work (except from myself) and I am still on full pay. My treatment is now over and I see my onc at the beginning of December, when I shall discuss returning to work part time for a while, before I resume my full time post.
My problem, as a nurse, is knowing too much and not enough about bc. Also this problem about caring for others and not enough for myself, but I am learning !!
Good luck to all the nurses and doctors and HHS workers with bc
Maria x


I am a Band 6 orthopaedic nurse. I was diagnosed on 18th May 2010 had first surgery on 27th May and haven’t been back to work since!

After reading all the posts I feel so incredibly lucky. I have had incredible support from my ward manager and my colleagues. I told my team the day after diagnosis because I know how gossip spreads like wildfire around my trust! The day after I told my team most of the hospital knew!! Many members of staff came to the ward and hugged me and all the stuff that goes with it - I’m sorry ect… I just though it only fair because for me to suddenly not be at work for months and for my manager to have to keep it quiet would be too much.

I am too saddened by some of the hideous care that some of you have had from your trusts/managers/colleagues. You really would think that working in a healthcare environment people might have a better idea of how to treat people and know when to keep their traps shut!!! Breach of confidentiality is a disciplinary without a doubt. Whether a person is a nurse or clerical or a cleaner - it is not acceptable in any form. If I was in that situation how on earth could you trust your colleagues again? Shocking behaviour absolutely no respect, makes me very cross :frowning:

I have tried to keep up to date with things at work - infact I am going out to lunch with my fellow band 6 and my manager this afternoon - we are all good friends and they have been my 3rd rock next to my husband and my family! HR are starting to stick their nose in now cuz my pay will drop to half pay this month. Unfortuanately our HR dept are as useful as a chocolate teapot and have the tact and understanding of a wild bull!!! I have yet to see occ health and I know that a phased return is coming my way -but to be honest this will be a good thing.

I finish chemo on 30th Nov - hoorah! and then rads start in new year. So I am hoping to return to work maybe March time. I am concerned however about my brain and its new lack of being able to work properly! Before all this chemo nonsense I was very switched on and fairly confident at work, but these days I struggle to remember the simple things. I have to write everything down! I had a bit of a freak out moment because i was trying to remember what to do with an anaphylactic reaction (lord knows why I was thinking that!!!) and I just cannot remember a thing which scares me!!!

I think when I go back to work I am going to update all my basic training cpr , anaphylaxis, infection control, fire ect… the whole kit and caboodle! I am just worried of making a monumental error out of something simple. I am concerned that this what I can only describe as a dementia!! will be permanent. It scares me and I hate being so out of control in regards to my brain activity - or rather lack of it and my clumsiness. Not good for a nurse!!!

Anyway I go on! Good luck to you all with your returns to work or not whichever you decide.

Take care

Maria you are quite right we nurses know a lot but not about BC and should show ourselves the level of care we show our patients/clients.
Bird I think we must have the same HR dept but I think you are being a bit unfair as chocolate teapots are useful for eating that is, esp. if they are Greens and Black choc yummie.Plus we had surgery the same day 27/5
Achieved a result this am. when the lady in payroll rang me back and said she had it all sorted out for me and we had a very satisfactory chat.Apparently HR faxed her my continuous service late yesterday afternoon. They only knew there was a prob with it early in May way before I went off sick poor overworked lambs.I suspect my manager may have told them I had said that I had been advised to take out a grievance.Not had a wink of sleep all night with this anxiety. Thanks as always for encouragement and support. Love Jackie

i didnt know you could get extended sick pay… last year when i was working as a band 6 sexual health nurse id only been employed contunously for 4/12 years when i went off so didnt get the 6mth FP and 6mth HP instead it was 5 months of each :frowning: so ended up on no pay for the last month of 11 months off…

even though i had well over 5 years of service in total… and went through the 5 year mark during my sick leave… they also were intimating id need to you my accrued annual leave as part of my phased return and were really pushing for me to come back sooner… the mental thing is after i left i didnt my post never even got replaced so why all the pressure for me to return :frowning:

why are we so unsupportive of our own?

my new job is much more supportive so far… but then i work as a BCN in breast cancer screening and genetics now.

libby im so pleased they are eventually sorting it out for you.


Is there anyone out there who works in Primary Care?

That’s a deafening silence then!

Info about the two tiers of ill health retirement from the NHS, the factsheet is here:
Okay that’s the FAQ now, Im sure it was the factsheet when I bookmarked it. Ah well.
Specifically, (quote)

To qualify for a Tier 1 pension you must be permanently incapable of efficiently carrying out the duties of your employment because of illness or injury.

To qualify for a Tier 2 pension you must be permanently incapable of engaging in regular employment of like duration to your NHS job (i.e. either whole time or part time) because of illness or injury

it goes on to define what some of those terms mean.

Okay, the factsheet is here sorry. Blame the brainfreeze!

Don’t forget you need to know whether your pension is oldstyle (1995 section) or newstyle (2008 section) and if you are in the special classes (mostly nurses) who originally signed up for a normal retirement age of 55.

ooh, i hope those links work!

Hi Dima and everyone, I’m a Health Visitor in Primary Care. Just at the 5-month stage of sick leave and waiting with baited breath for the bombshell re half pay. When the time comes, I’ll discuss the discretionary element mentioned in AFC and see what they say. Might also think about retirement but to be honest I want to see how things are when I return to work. Its a fairly stressful job to say the least but I work with a very supportive team and so far my manager has been ok. Watch this space :slight_smile: